Join Us at the Spirit & Place Festival Event on Campus
Events and Lectures

Franklin College will host “The Rhythm of Us: Interfaith Understanding Through the Art of Music” as part of the esteemed 2022 Spirit & Place Festival. The event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Branigin Room in the Napolitan Student Center, with a “Meet the Artists” dessert reception at 6 p.m. prior to the performances. The event is free to attend but registration is required. Guests may register at

Music is an especially powerful way to express identity in a pluralistic world. Musicians performing across faith traditions and genres will engage participants in a broader conversation about how we convey who we are, as individuals and as groups, through singing, chanting and instrumental performances.

Three artists will share their talents and identity stories. Featured musicians and performers include vocalist Maegan Pollonais accompanied by pianist Chang Shen from the Christian faith tradition; chanter Vasanthi (Indu) Vasudevan from the Hindu faith tradition; and Constantine (Dean) Maniakas from the Greek Orthodox faith tradition.

In 2020, Franklin College hosted its first annual Interfaith Understanding through the Arts event during the Spirit & Place Festival. The initiative is the inspiration of Franklin College Professor Emeritus David Carlson, Ph.D., and Franklin College Director of Religious Life and Chaplain Hannah Adams Ingram, Ph.D., who have long been drawn to interfaith dialogue and understanding. Carlson and Ingram are active with the Center for Interfaith Cooperation based in Indianapolis and have represented Franklin College at various interfaith celebratory events and educational workshops, including the annual Festival of Faiths.

Carlson hopes events such as this one will help bring people together to understand the differences and similarities between the world’s religions through an appreciation for a common connection.

“Music is one of the most powerful means by which religions connect us with the divine” says Carlson. “Truly, music is the ‘sound track’ of religions.”

The initiative is funded through a grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation. The goal is to bridge understanding of the world’s religions by highlighting the differences and similarities of various faith traditions through artistic expressions rooted in the arts and humanities – such as dance, visual arts, music, poetry and film making. Carlson believes that Franklin College is the first institution of higher education to invite artists from different religious traditions to share their artistic gifts as a way of promoting religious understanding.

Learn more about the grant at

For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185 or go to

About Spirit & Place:  

Celebrating the theme of IDENTIFY this year, the Spirit & Place Festival will examine how we walk in the world based on how we identify and talk about ourselves, our communities, our spiritual practices, and more. What do the humanities – history, literature, ethics, etc. – tell us about who has/had the power to shape how we identify? How might one’s faith inform the way they walk in the world and identify with others? What do the arts reveal about us as individuals and society? How might a combination of these tools help us wrestle with what it means to adopt – or resist – new ways of identifying? How might they aid in a deeper recognition of what unites and divides us? Using the arts, humanities and religion, Spirit & Place invites you to creatively examine ways to better see how our individual and collective are shaped by the ways in which we IDENTIFY. Spirit & Place is a collaborative community initiative housed in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. For more information, visit

POSTED Oct 11, 2022